2023 City Nature Challenge

Woman using binoculars to observe nature

The City Nature Challenge is an international effort to document nature in cities taking place from April 28 to May 1, 2023. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we urge all participants to carefully follow current public health guidelines. Please refer to our COVID-19 FAQ page for more information.


Support for Los Angeles' participation is generously provided by Boeing and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Take Part!
City Nature Challenge is about documenting nature where people live, especially in urban areas. Here’s how to participate in or near your home:

Explore your home or yard

  • What can you find in your house?
  • What can you see through your windows?
  • What are the wild plants growing in your backyard? (weeds count!)
  • What insects or other creatures are using the cultivated plants in your backyard as habitat or a food source?
  • What observations can you make along the sidewalk in front of your house or apartment complex? (Always be mindful of traffic and safety.)
  • Check out more ideas for exploring nature in and around your home.


Explore your neighborhood

  • Take a walk and see what kinds of wildlife share your neighborhood. 
  • Look up to spot birds sitting in trees or on powerlines and telephone poles.
  • Look down to find insects crawling on the pavement or underneath leaves.
  • What else might you find?
  • Visit your local park. Look in the grass, on plants, under benches and tables, and up in the trees. How many different species will you find?

How to Participate

Download the iNaturalist app from the App Store or Google Play.

Step 1: Find wildlife anywhere in L.A. County (or your local area). 

Step 2: Take photos of WILD** plants & animals.

Step 3: Share Your observations in the iNaturalist app. If it's planted or taken care of by people it is not WILD. Mark it captive/cultivated!

Step 4: Learn more as your finds get identified. 

**Wild means not captive or cultivated. Try not to take pictures of captive animals in zoos or aquaria and cultivated plants in your garden or at a nursery.


iNaturalist How-To Videos

Adding an Observation on a Mobile Device


Adding an Observation via the Web


How to Take Identifiable Photos


We wish to thank the following local partner organizations for their participation in the City Nature Challenge: Amigos de los Rios, Aquarium of the Pacific, Arlington Garden in Pasadena, Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy, Audubon Center at Debs Park, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, Catalina Island Conservancy, Community Nature Connection, County of Los Angeles, Department of Parks & Recreation, Friends of the Los Angeles River, Heal the Bay, LASAN Biodiversity Program, Long Beach Sustainability, Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Office, Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles Zoo, National Park Service - Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, National Wildlife Federation, Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, Pasadena City College, Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains, Santa Monica College, University of California California Naturalist & Climate Stewards Program, University of Southern California Environmental Studies Program, Wildwoods.

City Nature Challenge is brought to you by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and California Academy of Sciences.



A big thanks to our sponsors

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